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Jean Antoine Houdon Busts " Des enfants Brongniart " / Alva Studios Museum Reproductions/ Circa 1979

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Thrift store finds131 of 169Abstract Clay Wall Plaque / Woman with Moon and Stars / Unknown Maker and AgeMid-Century Azure Blue Ceramic Table Lamp /Bottle Shape / Circa 1960's -70's
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Posted 4 years ago


(1129 items)

Saw these yesterday at VOA and didn't want to wait till tomorrow and fight the 50 percent off crowds for their end of the month blow out. These would have been gone for sure. I was glad they were still there today ! They are made by Alva Studios who do museum reproductions. These are from 1979 and are signed and marked with the title around the back of each bust. They are 14" high on their brass roman column pedestals and are super heavy, almost 5 lbs.each ! The busts themselves are a composite stone powder/resin called "Alvastone" that imitates marble. They were loose from their bases and I had to tighten the bolts that hold them all together. Alex has a tiny defect in the ruffle of his shirt. Looks like there was an air bubble in the composite that popped thru from being bumped. The originals in the Louvre are by Jean Antoine Houdon a famous 18th century French sculpture. He sculpted portrait busts of many philosophers and political figures as well as friends. His busts of Benjamin Franklin, Washington and Voltaire are very well known as are these. Louise and Alexandre Bronginart the children of French architect Alexandre Theodore Bronginart. Nice overall condition too!


  1. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
    You have some really wonderful things Phil !
  2. epson233 epson233, 4 years ago
    these are gorgeous -- thanks for sharing pics and information
  3. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
    This is really puzzling me. There is basically nothing about this company online. One of the Ebay listings calls the composite material they use for the marble reproductions "Alvastone". There is an Alva Studios Museum Reproduction Catalog on Amazon but no history or background anywhere. Considering they reproduce everything that's in museums from jewelry to sculpture, you'd think there would be something about them.
  4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    "The word Alvastone was a Trademark filed on January 31, 1979, by Alva Museum Replicas, Inc., of New York, a subsidiary of New York Graphic Society Ltd."

    Diane Von Basedow, Inc. is mentioned too. Closed in 1991.
  5. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
    Thank you for the info vetraio50 :) I figured they were out of business by now. That's possibly why there isn't too much about them. I believe they started in the 50's. There's a lot of pieces for sale online from that decade.
  6. dreamwoven, 1 year ago
    I have just gotten these two small statues from my mother. She is 98. I remember seeing them as a child on our bookshelves. Unfortunately the girl child was broken at one time and 'glued' back together. The boy child is still in wonderful shape. These are not from the Alva Studios Museum as they are too old. They are signed in the plaster. If these are reproductions, any ideas on where reproductions may have come from during the 40's or the 50's or earlier? I have no history information on them except that my father bought them for my mother. They were married in the 30's I believe. Thanks!
  7. Jean123, 1 year ago
    I have a set that are red ware with a thin white slip over them. I am looking at them as I write -- they are in my bedroom on the mantle and remind me of my children although neither resembles either of my children in the slightest. I found them for a few dollars at a thrift shop years ago. Houdon's life masks are really fascinating.

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